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Old 11-07-2023, 10:51 AM   #1
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Battery specs

So I'm in need of doing my first battery replacement. I want to add a battery disconnect. I've read forums here to use the cole hersee 2000 AMP disconnect. Definitely going that route on the negative wire. I currently have a VPM issue where it's not powering on, and before going into that rabbit hole, I want to ensure batteries are top notch and in good condition. (Mine currently are not)



My questions are what are the best battery specs required for school busses? I want to go 3 batteries (Upgrade from 2). The reason I'm asking is because the current batteries I have literally have NO labels on them, or information melded into the plastic. They are straight up generic and I have no idea what kind of batteries they are other than the + and - melded into the plastic.


I plan to make my own cables, and want 3 in parallel with a disconnect. there's already additional wiring rigged onto the positive lines for auxilery items.



How many cold cranking amps do I need, AGM over STD? etc. Give me everything for a top of the line battery setup, and one for a budget grade battery setup that you would recommend. This bus will sit for awhile, but I plan to have a solar tender on them to keep them fresh with the battery disconnect as I do have always on drain issues. I understand all the stuff like letting it sit etc loses power over time etc, and I could just buy 3 large batteries and throw it in there, but I want to get a little scientific on this subject.


Bus is 1995 International 3800 Thomas 3-box.


I will add that most of the time I will not be in an extreme cold environment. Coldest it gets here is like 25 F.


Thanks in advance.

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Old 11-08-2023, 08:34 AM   #2
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No replies?


I seem to think it takes a group 31 battery which tends to be Marine batteries. Are there better batteries for crankingin this size? These tend to have a lower CCA rating, and I'd think we'd want more.


Are AGM worth the money for more reliability in starting for buses? I'm more concerned with reliability in starting and running than I am price.
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Old 11-08-2023, 09:57 AM   #3
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I got AGMs in mine. 4 years so far, they seem fine, though lately I’ve been wondering if they’re on their way out. I haven’t had to do anything for them, so maybe it’s just in my head.
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Old 11-08-2023, 12:55 PM   #4
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For starting, one 8d battery or 2/3 group 31s is the standard. Unless you are talking the house side of things, I wouldnt spend more for AGM.


If you have the room, run 2 8ds, and have one linked to the other with a VSR. Use the second one for house loads or just to sit as a backup to jump start the other.


Vsr is linked below
MaySpare 12V 140Amp Voltage Sensitive Relay VSR Double Battery Automatic Charging Relay Dual Smart Battery Isolator https://a.co/d/hsc9bzn
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Old 11-08-2023, 01:03 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nikitis View Post
Are AGM worth the money for more reliability in starting for buses? I'm more concerned with reliability in starting and running than I am price.
I think AGMs are worth it for the maintenance-free aspect of them.

Because AGMS are the exact same chemistry as regular lead-acid batteries, you're not going to see any significant change in the CCA-ratings, maybe a bit more, maybe a bit less, but it's all going to be about the same. They can typically tolerated being charged at a slightly higher rate than older-styled PbSO4 batteries, but I wouldn't base a decision based upon that.

What I would base a decision on is the possibility that, at some point some years down the road, that you're able to start your vehicle because you don't need to add distilled water to it because the batteries leaked or evaporated off.
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Old 11-08-2023, 09:36 PM   #6
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Given the price of AGMs. I can buy 3 dura(never)lasts for the price of a single AGM with a 1 year warranty. I may just go for the cheaper option this go around with the expectation they won't last beyond a year. I also want to see how well standards last when I put a battery disconnect to my system.

I can save up for AGMs for when those die. I'm convinced they are better too but I've had other jobs put into this bus recently as a money pit. Thanks for the input. Ill go with the 3 battery STD's for now. Adding a 3rd battery should help and is an upgrade from my current 2 battery setup.
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Old 11-09-2023, 07:55 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nikitis View Post
Given the price of AGMs. I can buy 3 dura(never)lasts for the price of a single AGM with a 1 year warranty. I may just go for the cheaper option this go around with the expectation they won't last beyond a year. I also want to see how well standards last when I put a battery disconnect to my system.

I can save up for AGMs for when those die. I'm convinced they are better too but I've had other jobs put into this bus recently as a money pit. Thanks for the input. Ill go with the 3 battery STD's for now. Adding a 3rd battery should help and is an upgrade from my current 2 battery setup.
Sounds like a plan.

Just FYI, the last AGM I bought was for a Ranger, and I kept it for about ten years (in Texas), and the only reason I replaced it was because the Alternator went out and the battery was already ten years old. And I used that pickup (along with my jump-box for my bus) to jumpstart a Prevost 24V chassis bus, another 24V system (it was either a cadillac something or a 1-ton pickup), as well as a 14.2L Freightliner at a Wal-Mart. I try to build my stuff stout so I can "abuse" it later on doing things I shouldn't be doing, like pulling people out of muddy ditches and dragging my 14.5K-Lbs bus out of "problem spots" while going up a hill.

If you're short on cash at the moment, it's better to keep it running on the cheap and redo it later than it is to park it and wait for a perfect opportunity. Like the general said, "A good plan executed now is better than a perfect plan later."
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Old 11-09-2023, 07:15 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nikitis View Post


I seem to think it takes a group 31 battery which tends to be Marine batteries. Are there better batteries for crankingin this size? These tend to have a lower CCA rating, and I'd think we'd want more.

The Group number, such as 31 or 8D, only denotes physical size, not the intended use of the battery or its chemistry. I have two Group 31 start batteries bought from NAPA almost nine years ago, and they are sealed (no water can be added) conventional lead-acid SLI batteries for commercial use.

John
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Old 11-11-2023, 08:54 AM   #9
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im using batteries-plus top line AGM's for starting batteries in all my Busses.. reason being I dont drive them every day.. i wanted batteries that if let to run down more than they should arent instantly damaged... I went the route of cheap rural king batteries once and they lasted a year... I had one of my AGM's that seemed low capacity after 2 yearsd and batteries plus swapped it for me..
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